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"... To the Church in thy house ..." Philemon 1:2
"Behold, how good and how pleasant [it is] for brethren to dwell together in unity!" Psalms 133:1
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The Work in Philippines
Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. (Joel 2:23)
We are excited to share with you a few of the great things God is doing. In spite of small difficulties, there has been rapid progress in the Gospel work in Philippines and we believe we are currently seeing the beginning of an outpouring of the holy Spirit.
Even as I was writing this, a neighbor lady and 4 youth from our village came to visit us and asked for us to study the bible with them. We dropped what we were doing and welcomed the opportunity. We gave a Bible to one of the teenage girls and she said she had been longing for a Bible, and it was an answered prayer. She was so happy. As we closed that Bible study, one of the trainees arranged to attend a daily Bible study with this girl and three of her friends. (Until we gave the girl the Bible, they only had one Bible between them all) Before they left, the husband of the lady came and wanted to talk about religion. He stayed for an hour or so and before leaving promised to attend church on Sabbath.
1889 Historic Seventh Day Adventist Church
Let all things be done decently and in order. (I Corinthians 14:40)
At the end of September of 2019, a group of delegates met together and organized as "1889 Historic Seventh Day Adventists", reorganizing back on the foundational principles held by the Seventh Day Adventists of 1889. God's blessing has attended this move. We don't have a president, but we have a representative committee and council, led by a chairman. We don't have a corporation run by a few corporate officers, but we have a "church", where Christian is united to Christian and church to church, and where every member has a voice in choosing its leaders, and where responsibility is distributed among various people around the Philippines. We have an ordained ministry, Gospel workers, local churches, church discipline, a treasury, a missionary training school, and soon by God's grace, a joint publishing work.
Our website is still under construction, but we invite you to visit it and read more about the work and truths that we uphold.
Four Ministers were recognized and ordained or re-ordained as the case may be, and some other Gospel workers are being partially supported either by stipends, or expenses. 1889 HSDA church buildings are currently being built in three different areas in Philippines; Mutia (Mindanao); Pangil (Luzon); and here at WC in Negros Oriental (Visayas). Our churches in Pangantucan (Mindanao) and in Palawan (Visayas) already have their own church buildings. Other member churches include Initao (Mindanao), Mindoro; etc. for those unfamiliar with the geography of Philippines, these places are scattered around Philippines, on various islands. Some require more than a day to travel between them by ferry. Gospel workers supported by the newly organized church have been visiting other groups around the Philippines until the current lock-downs occurred.
Click here for pictures of some of the member churches
Waldensian Center Mission Report
Four months after the organizational meeting, 1889 HSDA, with the help of Pastor Jessmar Encoy, Samuel Villaver, and the Sims, re-opened the Waldensian Center Philippines at the mountain property of the Sims. For information about the training center and an application etc. go to this link. Waldensian Center general information
Due to time and space we can not begin to share all of the wonderful things God is doing, but we will try to relate a few of the most recent. A few weeks ago, at one of our regular Bible studies with a group in the community, we shared the state of the dead. They were so amazed to hear that the dead are really dead. They involuntarily exclaimed "that means the saints are dead and cannot mediate for us, or even hear our prayers". They realized that they could not expect the ghosts of their dead relatives to be communicating with them or expect witch doctors communicating with the dead to be able to help them with their diseases, etc. They confessed that many of the teachings of their church are not based upon the Bible, and that they must from now on get their doctrines from the Bible.
Last week 5 young men, after hiking up for 2 hours from another village about 2000 feet below our elevation, were passing our place, when, like Abraham, we invited them for refreshment. They stayed and we soon were holding a bible study which lasted a few hours. They enthusiastically listened and questioned about the Sabbath and many other subjects. Three of them came back yesterday and brought 5 others, including their pastor, who questioned and eagerly listened to the truth for almost 5 hours.
And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3)
Another person, one of our local first-fruits, after attending church yesterday declared that she was going to try with all of her heart to keep the Sabbath regularly. Yesterday another family that we were studying with from the community were over-joyed to know the truth about the Sabbath and one lady confessed how she had been sinning by keeping the wrong day for many years.
The trainees are currently staying in the home of the Sims, and we are using the porch for services and classes. but it is getting too small for our church services, so last week we had a groundbreaking service and dug the footings for erecting a chapel on our property. Another building project we have already excavated for, is a multipurpose building for classes and dining, and we are in the process of building small huts for housing the trainees. The trainees have almost finished their first one. It is called a kubo which means a small hut. It will be large enough just to house two trainees. This has been one of their carpentry projects.
Pastor Jessmar's family is living in their newly built humble house on the property, and brother Samuel Villaver is staying on site leading out in the Bible based agricultural program and industrial arts. Brother Samuel majored in theology but is also an electronics repairman, amateur radio operator, bio-friendly farmer, builder, mechanic, welder, inventor and a jack of all trades. Pastor Jessmar majored in theology, is a medical missionary, farmer, treasurer for 1889 Historic Seventh Day Adventists in Philippines (1889 HSDA), and is serving as the pastor of our 1889 HSDA local church here at WC. Formerly he served as the director in a missionary school and is currently the associate director of Waldensian Center. The Sims are devoting themselves to this work as well.
Trainees are involved in regular Bible studies with neighbors, and are getting practical experience in medical missionary work serving the community. They are enjoying learning health, academics, agriculture, industrial skills, etc. The second quarter of the training, began April 5. The third quarter when new students will be accepted will begin July 5.
Seeds that had been planted several years ago with medical missionary work and personal visitation, are being watered, and bearing fruit. We have been studying with some, and some of them attend Sabbath services. Here we will let brother Samuel relate his testimony about some of these families.
There are four families who are attending our community Bible Study every Sabbath afternoon. One of those families is asking for additional time to be spent with them every Wednesday. The other three families are all relatives who belong to one church or denomination. Mr G. has a keen interest in studying God's word and a zeal for his family as well. He invited his two sisters with their families to attend the Bible study we conduct. G. is the leader of the small Chapel in their place and has a good report among his brethren, and has a good influence. However, in the course of time, as he and his family began to search the Scriptures, they found out that almost all of the teachings of his church are not found in the Scriptures. It lead him to question why his church does so. So he commanded his entire family to search for the Truth which can be found in the Scriptures. In his own dailect he said, "Ang ato ra jud nga saligan sa kamatuoran kay ang pulong ra gayod sa Dios " which means that the only way to get the truth is to read the Word of God and not the word of men. Even before we met German, he had already made up his mind that something is wrong with the teachings of the church he is currently affiliated with. Currently, those three families have now made up their minds that the only way to find the Truth is to believe the divine Inspiration of the Scriptures as the word of God and our teachings must be based upon it.
In the midst of crisis, by the grace of God our work here is continually growing as God leads. Last week there was another Bible study group that was created, comprising two families in another neighboring place.
In the wake of travel restrictions we are grateful for the warnings of the time of trouble given God's people a century ago to get out of the cities and to grow our own food, and that soon those that would wish to leave the cities would not be able. Our heavenly Father has been generously providing food for WC training center almost completely from our agricultural program and the farms of neighbors. Through God's providence, neighbors regularly deliver to our door, produce from their farms. Along with papayas, bananas and coconuts from the neighbors, we are growing sweet potatoes of many varieties, cassava, corn and Adlay (Job's Tears, or Pearl Barley) as our staples. Added to that we are provided with many other fruits, vegetables, and rice.
To view pictures from Waldensian center, click here. We also hope to soon have other pictures of Waldensian Center posted on our web site as well as of the churches and the work in the Philippines.
Pastor David reports:
"I wish to announce that, as of the end of February, I have updated my most recent book entitled "The Office of Holy Spirit". The update consists mainly of a correction of a typographical error of a Strong's number and several pages of useful additional explanatory statements about that Hebrew word. Most of the changes are in Chapter 2 of the book."
Click on the links or copy them to your browser to access the books. You can also visit the resources page of https://7thdayhomechurch.org to access them there.
For those that would prefer the book with a simpler cover, here is a second optionThe Office of holy Spirit (simple cover)
May God keep you under His wings as we enter this global time of trouble and may we each be found at our post where God has placed us, not managing our lives based upon fear.
In the Blessed Hope of our Soon Coming Savior
Waldensian Center Philippines - 2020
Note to the reader: Since Pastor David corresponded with you some months ago, the data on his computer and back-up data on several hard drives was lost (due to human error). This resulted also in the loss of all of his email addresses. After several months by God's providence most of the data had been recovered, but, about that time, the web-host moved our website to a new server, but in the process lost our church emailing list. These events have delayed our correspondence with you, and also resulted in a re-made emailing list. So if you are receiving this and do not wish to, please be patient with us and simply click on the unsubscribe button at the bottom of the page.
Please read the following passionate testimony from Pastor Jessmar.
Report from Pastor Jessmar
God hath wrought a wonderful work here in the Philippines! Individual believers and groups with varied understandings of truth have drawn together in unity of mind and truth, to form an organized church with a singular object to revive and uphold the fundamental principles of truths, for the "the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (Seventh Day Adventist pioneers). Truths that will sanctify the soul and restore to man the lost image of His Maker, will remain till the close of time. God’s church, the depository and bulwark of the truth, the citadel and agency of salvation must follow God’s order.
There was never a time wherein order in Gospel work was not essential. God does not intend to work with scattered flocks, or independent atoms, for this is a contradiction to His ways and character. Even in nature we find an evidence of the divine character: there is beauty and harmony in God’s creation, notwithstanding the manifold results of sin. Order is a law in heaven and when we pray for God’s will to be done in earth as it is in heaven, and expect God’s blessing on His work below, we ourselves must seek to answer that prayer.
Having departed from the “mainstream” SDA church, many professed reformers hold to the truths that are unique to Adventism; the truth abut God, Justification by faith, lifestyle and Sabbath reforms, etc.. and yet lacking a desire to seek further light or learn of God’s will more perfectly hence the absence of unity and heart link with fellow believers. Yet it was humbling to see how God’s hand opened the way for such a move to be made possible and how He is leading His people to go forward. Despite the prejudice, fear and negative attitude manifested by those who refuse to heed the call to organize, a pioneering and humble spirit was seen in those who regarded the urgent call. Indeed, God starts in small beginnings but it is “often the humblest work that yields the greatest results”.
Fueled with a sincere desire to know and experience God’s will for His people, this infant organization now has six organized churches; three in Mindanao (southern part of the country) one in Palawan (in the West) and one in central Visayas (middle part of Philippines). Moreover, several families, small groups, and individuals are involved, providing support through prayers and other means. Three of these churches are in the process of erecting church buildings despite limited funds. We see this an an opportunity to exercise that much needed faith in God and a call to sacrifice and self-denial.
Another humble beginning that is looking forward to a future enlargement (God willing) is the educational work that was opened in the central part of Philippines in January of this year. Situated in a mountain, away from the subtle temptations of city life, the 3.6 hectare property, now home to the Waldensian Training Center Philippines staff and trainees, is becoming a beacon of light to the communities around it. Through daily interactions, medical missionary service and house-to-house visits, confidence is gained and a greater influence for the truth is being spread amongst the people around.
Like the Waldenses of old, the young people in training are taught that “God designs life to be a discipline, and that their needs can be supplied only by personal labor, by forethought, care, and faith.” The Sacred Scriptures is the chief theme of study while the other essential subjects are not neglected. For more information about the Waldensian Training Center Philippines, visit this link.
In preparing the trainees for gospel work, we labor in house-to-house visitation. The experience gained has been inspiring and promising in its results. The people in the area are generally poor but are hardworking and hospitable. Most of the families we have visited are genuinely interested to hear God’s word. Young and old are eager to listen to God’s word being read and expounded. Most have no Bibles in their homes and there are no Protestant churches erected so their religion is made up of traditions and customs. Sharing the whole truth as it is Jesus is our earnest desire and this desire God has answered.
For a few years, personal social visits have been made and God’s entering wedge had been utilized in preparing the soil of the hearts of the people in the community, and now seeds are being planted in many of these hearts.
One day while we were doing a Bible study with a new acquaintance, a mother of three, some of the rest of us were providentially led to meet one of these families whose hearts had been prepared. We first met the wife, a laymen who is the chapel leader in their area. He was a man of good standing in his neighborhood. The wife invited us to their house and we met with her husband. It was a pleasant meeting but God had something more in mind. The man got sick with a flu and this incident opened the door for us to minister to his health needs through God’s simple methods. This won his confidence and from thereon a friendship grew. We started a regular Bible study in his household, each time I see him, his countenance beams with joy and love for God’s word. As the truth was being sown in his heart, his burden towards his neighbors was being awakened and he suggested that we gather all our Bible students in one place and do the regular studies in his house. As of now the Bible study is continuing and attendees are growing in number. It seems that this current crisis has aroused in their hearts the desire to know more of God’s word. For this layman, God’s word has become the standard of right and wrong. Praise God for doing a marvelous work!
Another family man who is known as a drunkard in his community has started accepting regular Bible studies with his whole family. It was surprising to me how he would take notes of the of the points and verses and ask questions about what the word of God says about various things. His wife, also a religious woman, shows the same interest. The way God has opened their hearts to His word inspires us to work harder in sharing to them the the truth that will be life to their souls. We ask that you pray with us for these hungering souls.
In our work here we have witnessed the fulfillment of Jesus’ words when He said;
“Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” John 4:35
The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Luke 10:2
If you could just witness these families that I am talking about, you too, like me, would regret the precious times spent arguing over things not relevant to our spiritual growth; causing divisions and apathy. If you could witness their deep, heart longing for salvation; to know the Father and His Son, I believe you too would love to work for their souls and prepare them for the kingdom. You would see the reason for your existence, else how could you bare the scrutinizing eyes of the One who died for all, while doing nothing for these souls dying in ignorance, because of our careless, indolent, and selfish spirits. Realizing that there are many souls who are living in an isolated part of the world, living in darkness, I was awakened and brought to repent that for years I have wasted my time contending with issues of so-called new truths with my fellow brethren. But now I am thankful for how God has lead my life.
Souls are perishing around the world. It is impossible to reach them when we are absorbed with self sufficiency and an independent spirit. We have to connect with each other and work unitedly. God will triumph, and we will witness Satan’s defeat and destruction before our eyes. Victory is assured to them that will unite, brother with brother empowered by the truth, and the world will see and testify that we are with Jesus, and we are His people, loving each other, encouraging each other, supporting each other, working together.
“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me
And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
Pastor Jessmar Engcoy